Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I'm A Screw Up!


How many times, have we thought silently or out loud, that we are screw ups? You are free to raise your hand and don't worry, no one will snicker or say anything because if they do, they will answer to me. So, go ahead and raise your hand! Yep, and if you look around the room, there are more hands raised than not. That should tell you a little bit about your own self. Of course I know if your own self would listen, you would not be here raising your hand, right? Ahhh, but I'm being fictitious of course in a way and in a way, I'm hoping to enlighten our own thinking a bit.

Growing up, I had to be on top of my game 24x7 and if I let up for one minute, the results could be frightening and horrifying to say the least. No mistakes were allowed or tolerated in my house. Of course, it might be important to note that what you may understand about the definition of "mistake" is much different than mine. A mistake was something that was when you deviated from what my father deemed to be appropriate in that moment. For example, if you walked a certain way on one day, it might be fine. The next day, it might be totally inappropriate and invoke the almighty wrath of God himself. There were many instances of this each and every day.

Of course, I also learned to strive for love, support and recognition from my father by trying to be perfect in everything that I did. There was no substitute as I was taught for not being perfect and the church backed this up by urging us to be perfect as Christ was. I tried my hardest in everything that I did to out think, out smart and make sure that I did not committed the bad sin of mistakes.

However as life has gone on, I'm beginning to understand how these things I grew up with and hold as self evidence for my life, are based upon false truths of control and manipulation. What my mind thinks is true as a result of what I was taught, is not truth at all. It is someone's attempt to control, manipulate and dominate me into their own securities and lack of self control. I'm sorry if that bursts your own bubble, but it was surely true in my case.

As I continue to evaluate these things, I see just how much this robs me in life of fulfillment, joy and adventure. It holds me back from all that can be in my life and it makes life a miserable experience. One boss I had, told me that I was much harder on myself than they would ever be on me. That is an eye opening statement to say the least! And yet, to this day, I still struggle with this issue. It haunts me and it controls me as if it were my king.

When I'm playing the piano and recording a song, I hear the "mistakes" in what I create when no one around me ever hears that. They hear a beautiful piece of music while I'm picking it apart as the world's greatest music critic. Others hear the beauty while I miss the beauty. Perfection is something I continue to strive for even though I know that it is virtually impossible.

One of the books I have been reading lately talks about mindfulness and with it, I'm trying to step outside of my little box and shell that I have so beautifully crafted, to experience something different. I'm learning that the more I live in a state of mindfulness, the more I experience the true beauty of all that I create in a day. Yes, there are most likely mistakes or things that we would rather not happen but through living in a mindful way, we give ourselves the option of seeing mistakes as opportunities. This leads to joy and empowerment and so much more for our lives.

I will admit that it isn't easy to live in a mindful way but I'm working on it. Sooner or later, I hope that the mindfulness will replace those pesky chattering voices in my head.

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